Goals for the Week of 12/8 – 12/14

3d people - man, person with a binocular and word "goal".

I’m a big believer in setting goals and trying to stick with them but sometimes that’s a lot easier to say than it is to actually do. I set some goals for the calender year back in January but I think it might be time to focus a bit more and set some goals on a weekly basis. Hopefully this will allow me to stay on track and focus a little more on improving myself achieving the long term goals I’ve been working towards.

With all of that out of the way, here are my short terms goals for this week:

Diet Related Goals

  1. Cut out the Starbucks / Biggby’s in the morning.
  2. No snacks after work.
  3. Focus on smaller portion sizes.

Exercise Goals

  1. Hit the gym twice this week for a weight workout. Once for upper body and once for lower body.
  2. Two 3 mile runs during the week and a 20 mile run on the weekend.

Lets start with that and see how we end up next Sunday. Those are pretty simple but I think its a good place to start.

Do you set personal goals? If so how often do you update them?

Let me know in the comment section below.

Some 2015 decisions have been made!

IMG_0035.JPG
 

In my last blog post I was trying to figure out what I should try and focus on next year in regards to running goals. At that time I hadn’t signed up for any races and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I still don’t know exactly how the year is going to play out but I have decided on some things to focus on:

  1. I’m going to take a break from runDisney races. I love to run them but they are getting expensive and a bit repetitive. I’ll be there for January Marathon weekend but I’m not sure if I’ll be doing any others. I always enjoy myself but I’m finding that the actual race takes a back seat to the meet ups with running friends.
  2. I’m probably going to reduce the number of races I run. I enjoy a good solo run but I’d like to run more with friends and family next year. That means that I’ll be spending more on entry fees but can offset that with reducing the number of races I run.
  3. I want to find a long distance bike race/ride to try for the first time. I think this will be a fun way to change my training up a bit.
  4. 2015 will be the year of the volunteer. I want to try and volunteer for a lot of events next year. I really enjoy the feeling you get as a volunteer and didn’t do it enough this year.

I’m actually getting excited for next year. I haven’t decided if I’ll go for a full marathon in the fall but I still have some time to decide and there is no pressure.

Have you made any decisions on your 2105 schedule yet? Let me know in the comments below.

Decisions, Decisions….HELP!!!

Help

I have a confession to make. I haven’t signed up for a single race next year because I’m completely stumped. This year was the year of the half marathon for me. In two weeks I will have completed ten half marathons during the year. I’m also in the middle of training for the Dopey Challenge in January. This is an awesome accomplishment and I’m super proud of myself but I know that I am no more fit, or healthy, then I was this time last year when I was getting ready to run half number four. In fact I’m probably a lot worse. I eat more sugar and have little to no energy. I know the sugar intake is a big part of the energy loss and I’m on “the road to recovery” but I need to get back in the groove. Luckily I haven’t gained weight yet but if I keep going down my current path it’s inevitable. I’ve had trouble keeping weight off my entire life but things are different now. The past couple of years have thought me to understand my body and recognize the changes I go through. I know, without a doubt, that I’m eating poorly and I can feel exactly what it’s doing to me. I also know that running has given me the strength and determination to nip this trend in the bud. I look at pictures of “Fat Kyle” and I know in my heart that he is gone forever. I might have ups and downs but I WILL NEVER BE THAT WAY AGAIN!

All of this leads to my current predicament. I honeslty don’t know what to focus on next year. I am waffling between two options so I thought I would write my pros and cons for each and then get some input from the running community.

  1. Go for MM status by completing 3 marathons in 3 months.

Pro: This would be an incredible accomplishment and being a double agent with the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs would be awesome! I would start with Detroit, try and get into Chicago or MCM, and then finish it up during Marathon weekend in Jan 2016. Running either Chicago or MCM would be a dream come true for me and would solidify, at least in my mind, my status as a runner.

Con:  It would force me to focus on the long run and take up a ton of time for training. In order to avoid injury I would need to take it very slow and, to be honest, I’m tired of running slowly and worrying about my knee.

  1. Focus on increasing my overall health by eating better, losing body fat, gaining muscle and targeting shorter distance races. I would still run a couple of Half Marathons but only for fun. My training would focus more on breaking the 30 minute 5K barrier and/or the 1hr 10K barrier.

Pro: Focusing on my health, strength, and short distance speed might allow me to lose weight and perform better if I give MM qualification another try in 2016. I recently read a great article by Lauren Fleshmen called “10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome”. I’ll let you read the entire article for yourself but the part that really caught my eye was: 

  1. Fitness

“Shorter interval work is more effective than long-distance runs for weight management and gaining fitness. Interval training won’t set you up to run a great marathon, but it will make you a baller at the 5-K, an event that requires strength, speed, power, and endurance combined. By making the 5-K your focus, your training plan will actually line up with what’s best for your overall health. “

Con: I would feel like I’m taking a step back. Most of my races last year were 5K and 10K with a few halfs thrown in towards the end of the year when my long run endurance got better. I worked hard to get to the point that I can run a Half Marathon whenever I feel like it with little or no consequences after the race. I’m worried that I might lose some of that if I no longer focus on the long distances.

I also think that there is a mental thing with me where, for some reason, the 5K feels like a training ground that I have already passed. I know that this is totally on me and is my issue alone. There are many very respectable reasons to run a 5K and many people, like Lauren, that don’t even run the longer races, not because they can’t, but because they choose not to.

So here is where I need your help dear reader. If you were in my position, what would you do? I am really interested to hear your thoughts so please comment below or send me a tweet @tigertowntales

Five Tips for Running the Detroit Marathon Weekend Races

medal shot

 

This past weekend marked the third time I’ve run a race during the Detroit Marathon weekend. My first race was the 5K back in 2012. Last year I upgraded to the Half Marathon where I went on to hurt myself and earn a ticket to the PT for the fall running season.

This year I was determined to have a different outcome. I was going to pace my wife for this race and since it had been a while (April of this year) since she ran a half we were going to take it easy and enjoy the race. I’m happy to say we accomplished that mission!

Finishers

Instead of doing a normal race report I thought I’d change it up a bit and tell you 5 things I learned from running this race.

 

  1. Arrive early and Park for Free- The race begins at 7AM and traffic is a bear. M-10 closes at I-75 and most of the city streets close the race route shut down before 5AM. We set our alarm for 4:00 and were out the door by 4:30. Instead of trying to park close the race course we parked on Washington Blvd close to Grand Circus Park. It’s probably ¾ of a mile to walk to the start line but since they don’t check meters on Sundays we were able to park on the street for free.

DSC02343

 

  1. Do not park inside of the race course – My first year I arrived early and thought I was being smart by parking close to the starting line. I was able to get a spot before the roads closed however, when I finished the race, I couldn’t leave until the roads reopened again.  If you look at a map of the race course, it loops around itself forming a circle. If you park inside of that circle you aren’t getting out for a while. I ended up walking around the after party and sitting in my car for a couple of hours after my first race had finished.

DSC02349

  1. Bring some warm yet disposable clothing- All three years that I have run this race have been really cold at the start. Yesterday’s starting line temp was 33 degrees and since we started downtown close to the river it felt even colder than that. Before the race started I had gone to the Salvation Army and purchased a sweatshirt from their dollar pile. As you can see from the picture below, it wasn’t pretty but it did the job. I also had the standard $1 running gloves that I tucked into my shorts pocket once I started to warm up. I didn’t throw them away because I had learned from last year that going through the tunnel is hot and stinky but once you exit you get hit with a cold blast of air. I was glad I had the gloves because my fingers were cold again by mile 9.

lets do this

  1. Be prepared for some hills – When most people think of a race course through the city of Detroit, they think it will be a flat and fast course. This course is actually a bit deceiving as it has quite a bit of elevation change (817 ft). The run over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada is beautiful, but it’s also challenging. The course leading up to the bridge has an incline to it with an uneven road surface. The entrance road is curved and has a pretty good bank to it making running uncomfortable to say the least. Add in the fact the you’re only at mile two, and probably still cold from the early morning fall start time, and your legs might be aching a bit. Once you get on the bridge, the road is narrow and the climb is much more challenging than you might think. It’s nothing to be scared of but don’t take it lightly either. Train for the elevation and you’ll be fine.

DSC02359

  1. Be prepared to see some amazing communities that you never knew existed – During this race you’ll get to see the Detroit River from the Canadian side and run along Riverside Drive. There is a great community here and the race support is awesome. The college students come out in force to cheer and other residents barrage you with greetings of “Welcome to Canada”. Once you come back into the city you get to run through a very nice part of Mexican village and smell the food being prepared for lunch at the local Mexican restaurants. This was one of two times during the race that my mouth was watering and I was ready to give up and go eat. The other was when we ran past American & Lafayette Coney Island Restaurants. One of the last Neighborhoods you get to see before the finish line is Cork town. I never realized how nice this area is with beautiful restored homes lining the streets. You can tell the locals really take pride in home ownership.

DSC02367

DSC02398

DSC02401

The Detroit International Half Marathon is one of my favorite races and hopefully, will be a staple of my running career for a long time to come. The course is challenging but wonderful and takes you through places you might never visit any other time. The medal is one of the best you can get, and running through two countries, and the world’s only underwater mile, make this a race to put on your calendar for sure!

 

Have you ever run this race and if so what did you think?

Would you recommend it to others?

 

Let me know in the comment section below.

2014 United States Air Force Half Marathon Recap

DSC02287

This past weekend I drove to Dayton Ohio to run the U.S. Air force Half Marathon. This race was special for me because I was running in honor of my dad who served in the Air Force.

It turned out to be a warm morning and the race had a few more hills than I had anticipated but overall I had a great time. Below is a video recap of the race…Enjoy!

Have you ever run this race? Did you like it? Will you run it again?

Let me know in the comments below. You can also subscribe to my YouTube page and can be notified of future race videos that I post.

Tiger Town Tales YouTube